Freelance journalist and best-selling author of ‘Neutral Buoyancy – Adventures in a Liquid World’ (Penguin), England
After graduating from us with a BA in Anthropology, Tim has worked as a tour guide, a waiter, a bicycle courier and in the film industry. He then joined the BBC World Service as a reporter/producer specialising in Africa. Since 1999 he has been self-employed as a writer and journalist. His writing has appeared in most national British newspapers and scuba magazines and he is the author of three non-fiction books. He continues to do occasional film work, writing the script for ‘Deep Blue’ – the movie-length version of the BBC’s Blue Planet, and in 2010 he produced the documentary ‘Man to Manta’. He continues to report for the BBC from the Indian Ocean islands, contributes to ‘QI’, has dived all over the world and is a Director of ‘Central Caribbean Marine Institute’ in the Cayman Islands. "Anthropology remains one of the foundations of my life," he says, "and the discipline of the Honours degree, and the perspective it gave me have stayed with me and informed many of the choices I've made. Anthropology and writing both rely on curiosity and a willingness to engage with disparate people from diverse backgrounds in unfamiliar territory."
After graduating from us with a BA in Anthropology in 2010. Sara has the following message to alumni and potential Anthro students:
How nice to hear from QUB Anthro! I sometimes get a little disconnected out here and forget about things from "before." I'm living in Guatemala right now, working for the organisation I studied in my dissertation (Safe Passage). I work with teenagers and children and was doing a mix of teaching and counseling/youth work, but I just got a promotion (yesterday!) and I'm now the new "Coordinator for Reading Enrichment" which is a bit of a silly title. It basically means I run the library and am in charge of literacy promotion and running creative writing workshops and the like. I've been handed a department with very little budget and almost no staff so it's going to be a challenge, but I'm very excited and I really love the kind of work I'm doing. I feel like it's a great privilege to love your job as much as I do and I'm very happy. Although it's a good thing you aren't asking us for money as I'm definitely not raking it in on my NGO stipend!!
My degree has definitely been so useful in so many ways for living and working here. I often find myself mediating when any kind of conflict/disagreement occurs between local and foreign staff at work (we're a mixed bunch) and I'm about to launch a Women's Issues group for the young girls which will be very interesting in terms of navigating cultural boundaries.
Sustainability Ambassador for IKEA UK VIETNAM
After graduating from us with a BA in Anthropology in 2009. Alexandria has the following message to dissertation students and potential Anthro students:
Let me just say I loved my dissertation module. At Queens I even changed my degree structure so that I was able to take the dissertation module. Why such madness? Simple; with the dissertation module I would be writing my own stuff for the first time. I would be free to do some proper research and to properly come to my own conclusion on a topic that I found interesting. Of course it was difficult and most certainly the hardest module I ever had to do as it required a lot of work and a lot of very detailed work on my own. But it was worth it. And in the world of work it paid off.
In 2010 the company I worked for (IKEA) gave 4 co-workers in the UK the chance to travel to Vietnam to oversee some charity work and become known as ‘Sustainability Ambassadors’. I applied and the main point of my application was my Social Anthropology degree and the dissertation module that I had undertaken. I described in great detail the amount of work I put into my dissertation and how it had prepared me to look at things with my own eyes and evaluate the world around me. It won me a place on the team.
In October 2010 I flew out to Vietnam with colleagues from UNICEF, Save The Children and 3 others from IKEA. We got to spend a week in northern Vietnam, visiting the many charity projects that the IKEA foundation funds in partnership with UNICEF and Save The Children. It was fascinating. I learnt so much about international charity work and corporate partnership. Best of all, I got to meet the main lady of UNICEF in Vietnam and it turned out she was a graduate of Social Anthropology. She told me how her degree had been invaluable to her as she worked her way up through positions in the Swedish government and then into charity work. It was just so refreshing meeting someone who was clearly well respected in her work position who had the same degree as I had.
The second part of my ‘prize’ was to be a Sustainability Ambassador for IKEA UK. This meant I was involved deeply in the Soft Toy campaign that IKEA runs at Christmas time. For every soft toy sold during the campaign IKEA donates 1euro to UNICEF/Save The Children. I was able to travel to different stores around the country and give presentations as to why this campaign was so important. It was brilliant being able to meet so many people and see different cities within the UK. At the end of last year I was even invited to the IKEA head office in London to do a presentation in front of very important people within the company. This included the head of the IKEA foundation who effectively decides what happens with all the charity money. It gave me a nice foot in the door so to say in regards to getting my name out there and hopefully moving up to work with corporate-charity in the future.
For now I took advice from some of the charity workers I travelled with and met in Vietnam and have left the retail world to actually work within the charity sector. Again, during my interview for my current job they were most interested in my degree and the dissertation I had completed. As charities run on considerably tight budgets they needed evidence that I could work on my own and completing a dissertation was plenty evidence for this. They also needed evidence that I actually cared and, apparently, a Social Anthropology degree is one that shows you have heart and are truly interested in what goes on in the world. Basically, from my own experience, if you have the dissertation module as part of your degree it undoubtedly helps when it comes to entering that big scary real world of work.
Executive Director of Springboard
Since graduating with us with a BA in Anthropology, Angila is now Executive Director of Springboard. Established in 1992, Springboard has worked to maximize positive choices for those in society, through building capacity, promoting peace and an appreciation of diversity. For the last 20 years, the organisation has provided learning and development opportunities for over 5800 people, leading to exceptional outcomes with, not only, over 70% entering employment or further education/training, but many seeking an increased role in regeneration and development within communities. Key to its success has been the creation and provision of dynamic learning platforms, particularly for young people, where learning is holistic in nature and integrates personal and professional development with unique international experiences.
Prior to joining Springboard, Angila worked as a Manager within a consultancy house in London operating chiefly in local and central government. In June 2009 she was appointed as a Charity Commissioner in the first ever Charities Commission for N Ireland. In 2011 she founded the Raj Darshna Foundation, in tribute to her parents and as a life long commitment to charitable giving. Angila also currently holds Board membership for Intercomm, a regeneration agency, in North Belfast and sits on the Belfast City Council's Good Relations Partnership, responsible for managing and administering Good Relations funding.
Cultural Diversity Officer
Karin graduated from us in 2009 with a PhD in Social Anthropology and Byzantine Studies. She is employed by Donegal County Council as Cultural Diversity Officer for County Donegal and Manager of an intercultural resource centre, Port na Fáilte, in Letterkenny. This is a Peace III funded project. Peace III aims to build bridges locally and her project sets out to support members of minority ethnic/culture groups to fully participate in civil life in Donegal and to support members of the majority culture to appreciate cultural diversity. They run county wide projects, including art, writing, sport, festivals, research, conferences, Theatre of the Oppressed … . They have also set up an Intercultural Platform and run a racist/sectarian incident reporting scheme. Here are the web pages of two of their projects: www.thealphabetquilt.com; http://drawyourplace.weebly.com
I completed my BA, my MA and my PhD in Social Anthropology at Queen’s – finishing in 2011! My research focused on how our environment is perceived differently depending on our social context and culture, particularly focusing on a village on the shores of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. I now work as a PA to the Regional Head and Management Team in Handelsbanken, a Swedish owned bank now established in the UK. In my current role I find my transferable skills immensely useful (things such as research skills, critical thinking, communication and time management). My anthropological background is also useful in understanding different cultures as well as being able to draw on the anthropological knowledge gained regarding economics and corporate cultures. I very much look forward to seeing where this new adventure may take me, but one thing is for sure: once you start studying Anthropology you never really stop!
Visiting Research Fellow
The American University in Cairo
Since graduating with a BA in Anthropology and Ethnomusociology in 2009, I studied for a Masters in Cognition and Culture in the School, and am now a funded PhD student. My research is a cognitive ethnomusicological approach to the study of music and emotion. I am carrying out psychological music-emotion studies in Cairo and Belfast, comparing how different people respond to Arabic and Western music. I play tennis, the piano, mandolin, and am learning to belly dance whilst doing my fieldwork at the moment in Egypt!
Knowledge Translation Specialist
The Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program
University of Waterloo
Lindsay graduated with a PhD from our programme in 2009 based upon an ethnography on disclosure amongst HIV/AIDS sufferers in a Belfast clinic. She now collaborates with long term care staff and researchers across Ontario to coordinate a long term care culture programme to enhance dementia care in the community.
Lecturer in Ethnomusicology
University College Cork
Ioannis graduated with a PhD from our programme in 2011 based upon a study of cosmopolitanism amongst Jazz musicians in Athens, Greece. After working as a Teaching Assistant with us, and singing and playing in a very successful band in Belfast, he was appointed to a Lectureship right after his viva!
Institute for Conflict Research
Katy is a successful filmmaker who, after completing a PhD in Social Anthropology with us in 2002 went on to become an Associate Member of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. She was instrumental in developing the award-winning diversity training resource 'Think of Me, Think of You' in 2004, now used for teacher training purposes in NI colleges of further education. Besides working in the Belfast-based Institute for Conflict Research, she is a special advisor to the Research and Policy Department of The Commission for Victims and Survivors for Northern Ireland. She sits on the Arts Council for Northern Ireland's steering group for older people, the all party assembly group on Race and Ethnicity and is a Departmental appointment to the Office of First and Deputy First Minister Race Equality Forum. Currently she is working with the South Education and Library Board on a project that aims to develop a strategic approach to community relations issues among young people in Lurgan and to improve relations between young people and workers in the town as part of the wider process of peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. In 2011, Katy was awarded an MBE for Community Relations based on inter and intra community development work involving research and arts developments. She also throws a mean party!
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology / Research Methods
Global Business – Deputy Programme Director
I graduated from QUB in 2000 after completing a PhD in Anthropology on the theme of gift exchange in Japan. Straightaway, I was appointed Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Wales. My focus of research is on the area of economic anthropology and its intersections with the politics of cultural consent and gendered/sexualised identities within globalisation processes, cosmopolitanism and citizenship rights. In 2009 I received the Higher Education C-SAP award recognition of contribution to the discipline of Anthropology. In 2009/2010 I was a project partner of the OER-JISC (Open Educational Resources - Joint Information Systems Committee) for a project on the creation of open access learning materials for the Higher Education Academy in Anthropology. In my spare time I enjoy going to the movies and scuba diving.
Senior Assistant Chief of Planning
Ministry of Primary and Mass Education
Bangladesh Civil Service,
Imtiaz graduated with a PhD from our programme in 2010 based upon a study of ethnicity, development and nationalism amongst tribal groups in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. He is using this experience and ethnographic expertise to coordinate food security and infrastructural development in the field of education in this area. As a Senior Civil Servant, he has also advised on cultural education policies in Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal and Lao PDR.
Director of Experimental Research
LEVYNA (Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion and Ritual)
Department for the Study of Religions
William “Lee” W. McCorkle Jr. is an evolutionary and cognitive anthropologist interested in ritual, language, and communication. He earned his PhD from our Institute of Cognition and Culture in 2007, one of the world’s premiere centers for research on cognition, culture, and religion. He has conducted fieldwork in India and Japan and devised original experiments to compare individual personality traits, ritualized behaviors, disgust, and evolved cognitive mechanisms. When not exploring the theory of mind, he plays in his band called ‘Leisure McCorkle’ – google him for his CDs and MTV appearances.
Lecturer in Anthropology
Department of Anthropology
University of Sydney
Luis was born in a village of La Mancha in Spain. After graduating from the University of Granada in Political Science and holding an Erasmus studentship at University College Cork, he completed an MPhil in Folklore and Ethnology there, with a dissertation on the flamenco tradition. His PhD in Social Anthropology at Queen’s University Belfast examined the relations between the Venezuelan state and indigenous peoples in the context of the Bolivarian political process. After obtaining his PhD in 2006 he returned to Venezuela and worked for five years at the Bolivarian University in Ciudad Bolívar, while also conducting further research in the country. In January 2012 he took up a lectureship at the University of Sydney shared between the Departments of Anthropology, and Spanish and Latin American Studies.
Freelance Digital Producer
Managing Director of Elismedia
Elisabetta graduated in July 2011 with a PhD in Social Anthropology (Irish Studies) with a thesis on the politics of memorialisation in contemporary Northern Ireland, focusing, in particular, on memorials to the casualties of the Troubles in the city of Belfast. She's currently working as a digital and video producer for some of London best advertising agencies. In 2012, she also established her own marketing agency: Elismedia (www.elismedia.co.uk). In her spare time, she is working on publishing her PhD dissertation as an academic monograph.